Secretary of State Kemp Announces Support of Legislation to Encourage Increased Voting Participation by Members of Georgia’s Overseas Military Personnel
Atlanta – Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp today testified before the Georgia House of Representatives Governmental Affairs Committee in support of legislation that would establish a pilot voting project for Georgia’s overseas and military personnel. The pilot voting project would provide overseas and military personnel alternative methods to cast their ballots and have them received by local election officials in time to be counted. Currently, Georgia’s overseas and military personnel are allowed to submit their absentee ballots only by mail.
The bill (HB 665), introduced in the House by Rep. Mark Hamilton (R-Cumming), Chair of the Governmental Affairs Committee, allows the State to participate in any future pilot voting programs, so long as those programs meet certain minimum standards such as: encryption and transmission of information over a secure network; verification of the identity and eligibility of electors to vote; protection of the privacy, anonymity, and integrity of ballots cast; prevention of tampering or illegal manipulation of the system; and ability to verify that information transmitted over the secure network is not viewed or altered before the vote is received at the vote counting destination.
“This legislation will help ensure that the men and women who fight to protect our Constitution and our freedoms can fully participate in Georgia’s elections,” Secretary Kemp told the committee. “One ballot cast by a member of our military that is not counted due to slow mail service or a missed deadline is one too many.”
“I want to thank Secretary Kemp for his early leadership and support of this issue, and his dedication and commitment to helping Georgia’s military personnel fully participate in our democratic process,” said Rep. Hamilton. “I look forward to continuing to work with Secretary Kemp’s office to develop and implement this much needed resource.”
Brian Kemp was sworn in as Secretary of State in January 2010. Among the office’s wide-ranging responsibilities, the Secretary of State is charged with conducting efficient and secure elections, the registration of corporations, and the regulation of securities and professional license holders. The office also oversees the Georgia Archives and the Capitol Museum.